Local sports icon Jerry Uht died Sunday morning at age 91 according to a family source.
Uht has been a staple of baseball in Erie over many years, serving as captain of the Strong Vincent and American Legion championship teams before playing professionally for the Cleveland Indians organization.
Uht also established an endowment fund to support Erie’s minor league ballpark and baseball in Erie.
It was Jerry Uht who the downtown ball park was named after before the park was renamed to UPMC Park in 2016.
Uht was a graduate of Strong Vincent High School in 1946. He was the captain of the Strong Vincent baseball team for two seasons.
Following graduation, Uht signed a Major League Baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians in 1947. He was then assigned to Mattoon, Illinois but later moved up to Class D ball with Batavia and then Class C in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
In 1951 Uht worked his way up to Class B ball with the Harrisburg Senators. He was also voted the fan’s favorite pro-ball player in each of the four cities that he played for.
Uht eventually broke his wrist and returned to Erie to become the founder of the Erie Lakers Semi-Pro Baseball Team. He served as the team’s player/coach for several years.
Later on Uht graduated from Gannon College with a degree in English. In 1962 he stared his own business known as Professional Communications which was Erie’s first answering service.
As a founding member, Jerry vigariously dedicated himself to bringing professional baseball back to downtown Erie. Team Erie went on to be successful and insisted on naming the professional ball park in honor of Jerry.
The park was named Jerry Uht Park from 1995 to 2016 and became the home of the Erie Seawolves, the current AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.
In 1991 Uht was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Metro Erie Chapter.
See the Erie Seawolves statement on the passing of Jerry Uht here.